University of California Davis Medical Center

The M.I.N.D. Institute

Sacramento, California


Part of the UC Davis Medical Center, the M.I.N.D. Institute (Institute for the Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders) is dedicated to finding a cure for autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and other neurological disorders of children. The institute's founders believe the cure will be discovered through multidisciplinary collaboration between diagnostics, research and treatment.

To that end, HGA designed the M.I.N.D. Institute to encourage interaction among researchers, clinicians, educators, students, parents and--to some degree--the children themselves. The program includes three main buildings for wet research labs/dry research labs, resource/conference center, and clinic and academic offices. The site plan locates the buildings in a 10-acre campus setting, creating a series of courtyards and loggias that integrat­e the buildings into a cohesive whole.

The interiors are inviting to families yet not overly stimulating for easily distracted ASD patients. HGA specified comfortable furnishings, soft lighting, warm woods, subdued patterns and muted tones with unobtrusive yet cutting-edge technology. HGA also paid careful attention to detailing the millwork--beveled edges incorporated into the millwork eliminate sharp, potentially dangerous corners.

Landscape architecture

The site design for the M.I.N.D. Institute reinforces the building program by also promoting interaction between researchers,